The use of cannabis products over a six-month period is associated with statistical improvements in cancer-related symptoms as well as significant reductions in subjects’ use of prescription painkillers, according to longitudinal data published in the journal Frontiers in Pain Research.

Israeli researchers assessed the long-term use of cannabis in a cohort of several hundred oncology patients.

Consistent with studies of other patient cohorts, cannabis use was associated with symptom mitigation, improved quality of life, and reduced prescription drug use. Among those participants who completed the trial, nearly half ceased their use of analgesics.

Authors concluded: “The main finding of the current study is that most cancer comorbid symptoms improved significantly during six months of MC [medical cannabis] treatment. … Additionally, we found that MC treatment in cancer patients was well tolerated and safe. … In conclusion, this prospective, comprehensive and large-scale cohort demonstrated an overall mild to modest long-term statistical improvement of all investigated measures including pain, associated symptoms and, importantly, reduction in opioid (and other analgesics) use.”

Full text of the study, “The effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis for treating cancer related symptoms in oncology patients,” appears inFrontiers in Pain ResearchAdditional information is available from the NORML fact sheet, “Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.”

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